The launch of RuneScape 3 has thrown RuneScape’s lore across the room and back again. Much like when Cataclysm launched with World of Warcraft, many of the existing quests had to be either rewritten or removed entirely because they dealt with a land or scenario that no longer existed. RuneScape 3 ushered in a literal new age, where the gods are free to return to the world, and several quest series no longer make sense in the current context of the game. Take Rune Mysteries, for instance: The original quest has a landmark role in the world lore as the player rediscovers the runecrafting altars and opens up a renewable source of runes for the entire world. When Jagex rewrote the quest, the events of the original Rune Mysteries became historical, accomplished by previous players and now part of the past.
So then I got to thinking about the convenient timing of the Old School RuneScape servers. Since the events of Old School RuneScape are mostly considered historical in RuneScape 3, perhaps this is a way to preserve that part of RuneScape’s history and allow players to participate and see the events for themselves, players who either joined after the release of RuneScape 3 or never managed to complete those quests. It is an interesting theory, even if it is probably wrong.
Playing 07Scape, I stumbled across a rather ingenious way to level up fletching (bowmaking) by buying logs from the general store, turning them into unfinished bows, and selling them back. You see, the genius of this plan is that the logs sell for less than the store will buy the unfinished bows. A paltry profit of four coins per bow, but it does mean that I can sit there and gain experience while sacrificing nothing in the process, so long as I can find a world where
bots players are selling logs to the store. I joked over Twitter that I’d probably get banned if I were in, say, Guild Wars 2.
And then reality struck: There are actually games that would ban me for doing this. Whenever an mmo issues a mass ban for players finding a way to make money by playing NPC shop prices, I receive emails from other gamers asking how you could possibly think that such an action was within the rules. The answer is pretty simple: It is, at least elsewhere.
If an MMO doesn’t want players to be able to utilize shops in such a manner, that’s fine. That said, it doesn’t seem appropriate at all to ban players on the first offense with an attitude that they should have known all along that what they were doing wasn’t kosher. Instead of reaching for the banhammer, simply send the player a warning. Remove the profits they made, why not.
Such an activity isn’t as obvious as, say, using bot accounts or cheats. The topic of making a profit by buying from one NPC and selling to another is rarely mentioned in a game’s terms of service, instead it is hidden in the “don’t exploit stuff” clause. It isn’t as obvious to the player as the developer often thinks it is.
I had a stunning revelation while playing Defiance yesterday: This game might have one of the more lively feeling worlds I have seen in a long time. Here is the story: A temporary event is currently running that tasks players with fighting off zombie sieges and the odd zombie emergency event in the road. Riding on my roller, I stopped by one such emergency only to find the area completely abandoned. Screaming and gunfire could be heard just over the nearby hill, beyond which I found zombies fighting a Raider event. It seems that the two stumbled upon each other, causing the afflicted to invade the Raider invasion.
Rather than intervene, I allowed the two groups to go back and forth, until the zombies won virtually unmatched and the Raiders were forced to retreat. I can only imagine what the Raider’s hostages were thinking, having already been kidnapped from their caravan, bound and gagged, only to have their day made even worse by an invasion of flesh eating zombies. Luckily for them, the zombies weren’t interested in hostages and once the last raider was killed off, moved on back to their own area.
But just imagine the chaos in Defiance if the afflicted zombified their victims, adding to their ranks and branching out kind of like an invasion event in Rift. Maybe I’m just wishing too much.